ADN plus a previous 4 year degree

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    Is there any advantage having a previous 4 year degree when it comes to job searching as a new grad? My 4 year is Retail, merchandising and management with a concentration of interior decorating and minors in art and business. I am graduating with an associates this coming May. Is there anyone out there that felt having a 4 year degree in something else had an advantage over people with just an associates when applying for jobs? I'd love to hear your opinions!
    Sweet charm likes this.
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    I am not in nursing school yet but I have a BA in Psychology and talking to nurses and schools so far has led me to believe that it helps, having background schooling helps with anything.I am not sure your specific Bachelors will help that much because it is in a different field than nursing but it wouldn't hurt. If you are planning on continuing your education past your ADN then it will come as beneficial because that is less classes that you have to take. If the bachelors pertains to health or people then it might help.
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    Quote from MN2LA
    Is there any advantage having a previous 4 year degree when it comes to job searching as a new grad?
    No. You won't believe how many people go into Nursing as a second career with other degrees! A second degree (including a Master’s degree outside of Nursing) means nothing to hiring managers of New Grads. On the other hand, connections can give you an advantage when it comes to job searching as a New Grad. Thus, start networking if you have not done so already. Good luck!
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    I think it depends on your specific degree. My bachelor's from 20+ years ago is Psych, so I could very easily find ways to make my previous education pertinent to whatever nursing position I applied to. I have an ADN and will only go back for a BSN if absolutely forced....have had pretty decent luck finding excellent jobs so far.

    Are there things about your previous degree that would be applicable to nursing? If so, play them up!
    Sweet charm likes this.
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    I had that same question about a year ago and found out that it was the four-year degree in nursing that counted -- the BSN is what the hospitals want. That being said, try to show (by resume or in interview) how the skills you learned in your prior work will apply to nursing work. Such as, you honed your people skills, know the importance of setting priorities and working as a team, etc., so as to set yourself apart (in a good way!) from the other hundred applicants. It's a tough job market -- push what you have and best of luck!
    KatRN 821 likes this.
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    I think any education that furthers your growth as person and a professional will never hurt. You may end up behind someone who has a BSN when it comes to a specific job as the degree is in nursing. But you may also have better interpersonal relationship skills as well. Good luck!
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    The only degree which might provide an advantage is psych, if you plan to work in mental health, or a behavioural unit. Otherwise, no.
    Sweet charm and Red35 like this.
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    A BA degree in a non-health/nursing related will not make you stand out as a candidate. It might make a good tie-breaker in otherwise equivalent candidates; it's better than no 4-year degree, but not much in the eyes of nursing HR.

    Ultimately, the degree that makes you more competitive is the BSN. You can use that BA with your ADN to make your RN-BSN degree a very short trip.

    Some bachelors add an edge, albeit a small one, but it has to be related to nursing. About 50% of RNs have a BSN, MSN, or a BS/MS in a related field like Biology, Psychology, Chemistry, Exercise Physiology, Health Informatics, Healthcare Administration, Public Health, etc. (2008, Future of Nursing)
    Last edit by SummitRN on Feb 18, '13
    Orange Tree likes this.
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    There were at least 3 of us in my ADN class with a previous BA. Mine was in a humanities subject and I think having the degree helped in terms of improving the critical thinking and soft skills that are so important to nursing. Did it help me get hired? Maybe a bit, certainly BA + ADN does not equal BSN. I will be going back for my BSN in the fall, perhaps 3rd degree is the charm.
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    The short answer is "No" with respect to lining up a nursing job however, as others have pointed out, the prior degree can make your journey to getting a BSN a fairly short one.

    I completed an evening/weekend ADN program several years ago and out of about 30 in the class, nearly half had a Bachelors and several of us also had Masters. Most of my classmates had a great deal of difficulty finding work, regardless of prior degree status. This is also true in my case, even though I went on to earn my BSN. By the way, I was a psych minor, which may have helped get me one of a total of only three interviews I've managed since graduation. It was not enough to land the job however, which went to someone with a similar educational background but who also had several years of nursing experience.

    What will help much more than a prior degree will be for you to get and hold a healthcare position such as CNA or patient care tech while you are in nursing school. While it's difficult for new nursing grads to find jobs, in many and probably most cases, hospitals will hire you as an RN once you've gotten your degree and passed the NCLEX if you already work there as a CNA/PCT. I'd also urge you to get your BSN. Where job postings once said "BSN preferred", most now state "BSN required."

    Good luck to you.
    SummitRN likes this.


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